In the last couple of years, Juan Wauters has covered a lot of ground, both artistically and geographically. The year 2016 saw him performing his music in his native Uruguay for the first time as well as directing a film, Romane en Juin, in the South West of France; and, since then, he has been traveling throughout Latin America extensively, taking time to press pause and rethink his life, his art and his career after releasing two critically acclaimed albums on Captured Tracks, 2014’s N.A.P.: North American Poetry and 2015’s Who Me?
As both time and place often have a unique influence on his music, Wauters originally planned to record his next album while traveling, seeking a break from his life in New York City, the city he has called home since moving from Montevideo in 2002. In 2017, no sooner had he settled in Mexico City to focus on writing when he was suddenly offered a role in an independent film being shot in Argentina. Ever the happy wanderer, Wauters repacked his 100-pound mobile recording studio into two suitcases and took off for Buenos Aires. When filming was complete, Wauters wound up writing and recording all over Latin America — from Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, and Chile to Mexico and Puerto Rico — seeking collaboration at every stop with local musicians who embody the traditions and energies specific to each region.
Puerto Rico was one of his first destinations. At a restaurant on the way to Charco Azul in Guavate - a natural swimming hole - Wauters heard a duo playing boleros, music he has been familiar with since his early childhood, but had never experienced in its original context. Those boleros would inspire the repeating melody that makes up the infectious love song, “Guapa”. Later, Mexico City was to become the birthplace of “A Volar”, a beautiful, buoyant track about dreaming wildly that features multiple musicians that Wauters met in Garibaldi, a popular square in Mexico City where musicians for hire gather. Later, he would trek to Buenos Aires, Santiago and Montevideo, creating music and incorporating the local traditions into his yarns.
Until this point in his career, most of his songs had been sung in English, but revisiting his Latin roots inspired him to record songs in his native tongue. Thus, Wauters gives us the wonderful La Onda de Juan Pablo, the world of Juan Pablo Wauters.